Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Going into a new school year, I feel this great closure with some issues, enlightened to so many lessons and excited for the journey to come.  As I’ve talked to friends this past week, I realized how we put limits on how we interact with someone. We all do our best to keep from being hurt by another person whether it is directly emotionally, through loss of respect, or by finding out a friend isn’t who we thought they are.

When we first meet someone, we make rules about how to talk with them so they stay interested and sometimes to keep them from being overly interested. One of my friends has recently started dating a guy she likes. She asks me, “Should I call him or should I wait,” or “Will this be okay?” Personally, I know I have suffered from not being willing to play the game of hard to get but in some ways I understand why we play this game. However, I feel that we should feel free to be ourselves . . . Now if being yourself means texting a guy or a girl every two minutes until she texts you back then maybe you should reconsider your approach. Nonetheless, I believe deeply in my heart that if someone is a match for you, they will accept you for who you are and not the person you make up for them. In the end, while a little mystery is good, I don’t think we should have to second guess every single move we make.

Friendships are a lot of work just as a romantic relationship. Over time, we occasionally realize that being friends with somebody is hurting us more than helping us. We grow to be on different paths and what is left over isn’t that great in comparison to what we once had. I experienced not being able to make that transition to being a new type of friends, so I built distance between that person and me. With another friend, I knew the person they are but I didn’t completely realize what that entailed. For me to be happier going forward, I had to put up boundaries. It was for a better, healthier friendship. We wish things could go back to how they were sometimes but we know they can’t. On occasion we put up walls after we know people but I believe we have to with certain people to be able to sustain that friendship.

As I teach 8-12 year old students this summer, I struggle to be a cool teacher but to maintain respect from them. I make them call me Mr. Jarryd, but I try to relate to them in their specific age groups. I want to do fun activities with them, but I want my students to still learn and not abuse that side of me that wants them to like me. It is a blurry line to walk but it is one I must walk from the beginning with them.

We have to know when to put up walls and know when to let them down. Boundaries with others can protect us but too many can also cause more confusion down the line when we are trying are to connect with others. Every day is a new day to work on improving how we connect with others but especially this school year, I hope to be mindful of knowing when to trust in others and when to limit how I interact with someone.

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I hope you have enjoyed this post! Feel free to comment, email me, or ask me questions anonymously at http://formspring.com/jarrydboyd.
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